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Investing in Kids’ Lives

basket of treatsOh my, here we are going into the last month of 2020! Although I don’t think that many will be bidding a fond adieu to the year, I do believe we will all be welcoming 2021 with a bit of trepidation.

The kids used to swarm into the library hoping to find an empty chair at one of the computers. COVID-19 brought that to a screeching halt many months ago. Consequently, the number of children coming through our door dropped considerably. Reading kids walk in knowing pretty much what they want and off they go. Lately, we have seen the number of children coming in, just to hang out, rising as the library is somewhere warm to go.

So as much as I like seeing them walk in the door, it does present sort of a conundrum. If our young patrons are at the library and they are not interested in reading, then there had better be an alternative. We have incorporated encouraging our young patrons to finish color sheets, connect-the-dots sheets, and word searches before receiving a snack when they are heading out the door! Trying to plan within the borders created by COVID-19, space, and time restrictions are the components that makes up this conundrum.

We have decided that we will play bingo for 60 to 90 minutes at the end of the day. Using grant money, we recently purchased a Bingo game, disposable sheets, and a good supply of daubers. It may not be a perfect solution, but it is probably going to come as close as anything else! It is an activity that all ages like to do, each participant will receive a snack when leaving the library for the evening, and we will work out a point system where the winners can vie for prizes.

I said all of that to say this, we would be so very thankful if anyone would like to donate snacks or prizes, or even take a turn or two of calling Bingo. Investing in the lives of these kids is worth every dime and every minute. They can be messy, wild, and teeth-clenching annoying; and then there are those other times that makes everything okay and extremely worth it all.

Word of the Week: The word of the week is “petrichor.” It is a noun and is pronounced /ˈpe trīkôr/. The word means a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather. The musty, barky smell of fresh rain fallen on the dry earth is petrichor.

Halloween Parade Plans 2020

boy in superman costumeSaturday is Halloween and Saturday is the Halloween parade that starts at 4:00 PM. We can do this safely and have a splendiferous time while doing so! So, the plans are that we gather on First Street on the sidewalk that runs from the door of the library west towards the City Office. Each family will walk together with six feet in between families. We will do the parade single file instead of the usual conglomeration. Not only will this be safer, this will make it so much easier to view all of the costumes and be such an advantage for the spectators.

This is an ideal way that we can do something for the children in our community. We will be outside in the fresh air with room to social distance. Most all children love to dress up and play make-believe and many times that include masks. If your health is compromised in any way, please do not participate. Watching the parade while sitting in your vehicle may be the perfect solution for you. Please dress appropriately for the irrationally acting weather we experience here in Kansas. If your Halloween mask is not as substantial as the masks worn to school, the Barber County Health Department suggests wearing a mask under a costume mask.

Between the cloudy skies that have been hanging over Medicine Lodge and the dark cloud that COVID-19 brings to the scene, everyone could use a few laughs and a good time. Come on out and walk with us!

We not only still accept candy, but we get extremely excited to see it walk through the door! The parade is on a Saturday, which means more children and their families will attend. Children are tired of all the COVID-19 restrictions and are looking for fun things to do, which means more children and their families will attend. The weather is supposed to be pretty accommodating, which means more children and their families will attend. With all this in mind, we are planning on 250 children. We are so grateful to those who have given; we have enough for 10 pieces of candy for each bag. I would love to be able to double that number. We are thankful to those at Arrowhead West who bag the collected treats for us.

There will be further activities after the parade at 5:00 PM at the Assembly of God Church at 701 North Iliff Street (Highway 281).

Word of the Week: The word of the week is “splendiferous”! The word is an adjective and is pronounced splen-dif-er-uhs. The word means splendid, magnificent, and wonderful. Driving down Highway 160 offers a splendiferous view of the Gyp Hills.

Brenda McLain Memorial

blue stick personLincoln Library has recently been the recipient of memorials from friends and family of Kathryn Roberta McSpadden McLain, but she was known to most everyone as Brenda. Her obituary, although less than a page in length, tells of a woman who lived just a little over 98 years. I read her obituary with interest; I didn’t know her, but I did have numerous conversations with her.

After moving here, I noticed two women out walking together a lot. Although they were always moving quickly and were in deep conversation, they seemed happy to stop and chat with others who were out walking. They were the duo of Brenda McLain and Imogene Carr, and both were amazing women. They smiled and laughed and encouraged, but what I noticed most were how their faces would just shine while they talked to you. It was always good to talk to them and they made an impact on my life as a newbie to Medicine Lodge.

Brenda may not have had an easy life, but she made it a good life. Included in her obituary was her interest in most everything that life has to offer. She set a good example for all of us in dealing with all of the details in life!

We have the money set aside until we can settle on a project that we can do in memory of a very special lady! We appreciate everyone who gave!

We also appreciate all those who have brought candy to the library for the Halloween parade! We are planning for 250 and we are about a third of the way there. The parade needs to be a little different this Halloween! Instead of conglomerating at the door of the library, we ask that everyone line up down the sidewalk on First Street towards the City Office. We also ask that you line up with family members, with six feet between families, so the parade will be single file. It will make the parade longer, safer, and more enjoyable to watch! The Barber County Health Department is also encouraging everyone to wear masks, even if participant’s costumes have masks. Things will be a little different, but there will still be costumes and candy. It’ll be a good time!

Word of the Week: The word of the week is “deleterious”! The word is an adjective and is pronounced del-i-teer-ee-uhs. The word means harmful, often in a subtle or unexpected way. Divorce is assumed to have deleterious effects on children.

Plans for Halloween 2020

2 women in Halloween paradeCome on and admit it; this is an extremely confusing time for adults, right? How can one even begin to fathom what is going on in the minds of children? Halloween is coming up quickly and I’m aware that it may not be the favorite holiday for many, but children like it. Children like to dress up and children like candy; Halloween covers both.

This year’s Halloween falls on a Saturday, which makes it convenient for parents to start the festivities a little earlier before the sun goes down and it begins getting cold. Other advantages in respect to Covid-19 are: most Halloween activities take place outside, most costumes include masks, and there is ample space to provide for social distancing!

The parade will begin at Lincoln Library at 4:00 PM. We are planning for 250 this year due to it being on a Saturday. It takes a lot of candy to fill that many bags. We ran out last year when we did 150 bags; I don’t want to repeat that this year.

We have the bags, and those at Arrowhead West graciously fill bags for us every year. What we need is candy! We would so appreciate it if you would please think of us when you are in the Halloween candy aisle and maybe drop a bag or two of individually wrapped candy by the library. We will see that it gets in the bags for the children of our community.

After the parade, the First Assembly of God Church will be holding their annual Trunk or Treat from 5:00 to 6:30 PM at the church.

These activities will give our children a few hours of enjoyment that will gradually build to an exciting crescendo as the treats are checked out at the end of the evening. These are good times that make good memories, and no matter what age we are, we need to incorporate as many good times as we can get into our lives!

Word of the Week: The word of the week is “abstentious”! The word is an adjective and is pronounced əbˈstɛnʃəs. Abstentious is the longest word in the English language to use all five vowels in order once. Abstentious means self-restraining. He was a man of abstentious habits, charitable disposition, and impressive eloquence.